Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You Get What You Give

Note: Please ignore the typos and grammatical errors. I don't like to edit what I write , because it makes me want to change it and it takes away from the pure emotions I felt as I wrote it. So unless it's a school paper or such, I write what I feel, then breeze through it once, hoping to catch most errors. 

My brain is especially weak today. I've been up for two nights in a row taking care of sick babies.  Perhaps I can blame the fatigue for my harsh thoughts yesterday. I hate it when I am quick to judge without hesitation. I can usually put myself in my place and replace judgement with compassion, but I've been feeling quite hostile due to an unfortunate series of events in my life.

I'll be honest. I'm a little disgusted with myself. After all I've been through during the last few years, I should know better.

I don't even know where to start. I have so much to say and the words just aren't coming.
I'll do my best. I apologize in advance for my brutal honesty (and my ignorance). I promise I am not into brutality. I need to make a point and I can't do it by sugar coating the cruel thoughts that ran through my head.

You've been warned.

Yesterday, after a morning of errands and doctor's appointments, the boys and I ended up at McDonald's. We were hot and hungry, so we got a couple of happy meals and I sat  while the boys took their time running back and forth from the table to the play area. I quickly noticed an older gentlemen sitting alone directly in front of me. He was tall, well over six feet, lean and fair-skinned. He was dressed nice. Slacks, a dress shirt and a cotton pilot hat. A cotton pilot hat? in the middle of summer? His skin looked damaged. He had red, dry patches on his arms and his face. The left side of his face was droopy. But his most noticeable physical feature of all was a big, open sore on the left side of  the bridge of his nose. It looked raw and moist.

Gross, I thought. I hope whatever that is isn't contagious.

My kids kept running by him as they quickly took bites of their cheeseburgers and french fries and ran back to play. Don't worry, I made them sanitize their hands each time they ran back. Because of the germs, I mean. Not because they were running by him.
I kept catching myself thinking about how he shouldn't be out around children like that. What if it is contagious? what if my kids catch it? I wanted him to leave. I wanted him to move away from the children's play area. What the hell is that thing on his nose? It looks so disgusting! I thought over and over. I watched him as he pressed a napkin against it numerous times, as if to dry off the fluid from the sore. It looked red and raw and concave.

He was there almost as long as we were. He took his time eating, then I watched him as he pulled out a bunch of change from a pouch and separated the coins. He sat there quietly, minding his own business. He didn't even look up when Julian ran so close by him that I thought he was going to run right into him, as my oldest boy often tends to do. Usually he runs into things (mail boxes, signs and such) but I have seen him dart right into people a few times. But that's a whole other story. Ahh, that boy of mine. I wonder about him sometimes...

Anyway... as a professional WebMD surfer and former (still working on it) hypochondriac, I resorted to the data base in my cluttered head to diagnose the poor, oblivious man. In my mind he had a flesh-eating bacteria, or perhaps he was allergic to the sun. I saw that on the Discovery Channel once. How else do you explain the cotton pilot hat in August? I believe I even gave him AIDS and cancer and then blamed a recent stroke for the droopiness in the left side of his face.

I sat there judging him for a good hour or so before I realized what I was doing. So many adjectives came to my mind.
Insensitive, cruel, mean, unkind, callous...
But sometimes I really just have to call myself a bitch.  So...bear with me as I appropriately scold myself and put myself in my place. *Ahem*

You bitch! who the fuck do you think you are? why don't you take a mirror and look at yourself before you criticize others. Your own nose looks like a cross between a cat's and a pig's nose, you cold-hearted jerk. You don't like what you see, then look away! Mind your own business! you want to diagnose something? then diagnose my foot up your ass after I get done with you, asshole.

Ok, I'm done. I have a few more choice words for me, but I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I've had a rough week and I want to believe the recent events in my life have made me more hostile and bitter than the average human.

The truth is I am not perfect. I teach my kids to be open minded and kind, but I do the complete opposite when no one is looking. For a moment, I made myself feel better by putting someone else down. What if he needed positive thoughts and vibes and I sent out nothing but negativity? His eyes looked sad. What if he needed a smile? What if I made him as uncomfortable as he made me? What if he just wanted to have his lunch in peace without people like me staring at him?

I'm sorry. I hope he is well. I hope his skin feels better today. I hope he is happy and healthy.

And if you're one of those who is thinking "Ehhh, who cares? it's not like you said it out loud or  pointed and laughed at him.."  well, that still doesn't make it right. I truly believe that what you put out is what you get in return. Call it karma or whatever you'd like. Put out hate and ill will and you will get it right back. Put out compassion and kindness, it will come back to you.

I hate that I allowed my mind to assume and jump to conclusions so quickly without stopping to think about what a day in his shoes might be like. As humans, I believe it's natural to wonder and then fill in the blanks with whatever will keep our minds satisfied, even if it means being unkind and ignorant. The question is can that cycle be broken? Can I go out and not care about what people wear or how they look or how I think they should have handled themselves in a situation. Can I? Can you?

I'm so tired. The baby is asleep and I should be resting, but I can't stop thinking about that man. Wherever he is, I am sending out good thoughts to him. Goodnight.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Four Pounds

I honestly didn't even give it my all but I must have done ok because I'm down four pounds. Just goes to show that a few changes can really make a difference.
This week I:
-stopped eating three hours before bedtime.
- added one serving of veggies to all my meals.
- Didn't drink any sodas or fruit juices
- replaced afternoon sweets with fresh fruits and sugar free jello
- went out for brisk walks
- walked to the store several times

Don't get me wrong. I do mess up and give in to temptation more often than I care to admit. I'm only human. But this week I learned that I don't need a huge fizzy drink with my meals or a giant pb&j before bed.

I didn't have much time to work out last week, but hopefully I can get a few workouts in this week.

Four down. Fifty six more to go.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

1 Down - 29 To Go

Weight and measurements as of now:

Weight- 185.4 lbs
Waist- 39 "
Thighs- 28 "
Hips- 45 "
Calves-  18 "
Neck- 15 "
Biceps-  14 "

Yesterday I made a blended concoction of power foods. I used kale, spinach, chia seeds, banana, coconut milk and water. Unfortunately, the taste of the kale sort of took over. I need to play with the ratios. I drank it anyway. It was drinkable, but not exactly pleasant. Gave me a good burst of energy, though.

Yesterday I went for a short walk ( about 1.5 miles), it would have been longer except Spring time is really rough on my allergies. I'm still recovering from this tonsilitis too. I look like a zombie right now.

Anyway, I'm on my phone and I don't know how to place the pictures where I want them, so somewhere along this post you will find pictures of a few of my meals. Mostly veggies, with some sort of protein. I tend to use a lot of bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, hard boiled eggs (no yolk), tilapia, small steaks, etc...

The baby is asleep right now so I'm going to take advantage and do some cleaning.

Monday, June 3, 2013

30 Days

I've always wondered how much weight I could lose in one month if I did nothing but workout and eat clean for 30 days straight. It took me over two months to lose ten pounds, but I wasn't giving it my all and I kept falling off track any time something delicious was around me.
I love food. I love homemade food, I love junk food, I love fast food, I love microwavable junk and things in brightly colored packages and things with insane amounts of sugar, things with cheese and sprinkles and... well, you get it.
The last time I lost forty pounds, which was right after Tyler was born, I was going through withdrawals. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it's true. I was shaky and anxious, because I couldn't stuff my face silly. I wanted cookies and cake and pizza. As I get older, I can see the consequences of my bad eating habits making themselves more evident. My immune system is at it's weakest, I developed gestational diabetes during my last pregnancy and I'm always tired. I love food, but I refuse to spend what's left of my 20s as a tired schlob who can't keep up with her three (four) crazy boys.
I meant to start this on the first of June, but I managed to start the month with a painful case of tonsilitis. I'm on antibiotics and about 50% better now. Also, bear with me because I am doing this all via my phone as I am currently too "financially challenged" to afford internet.
So, here it goes. I have about 60 lbs to lose. Lets see how close to my goal I can get in 30 days. Just to make it clear, this is just me and some common sense knowledge about health and fitness. No weird, trendy diets or expensive personal trainers. I'll post my beginning stats as soon as baby gives me a minute. Right now he has other plans.


Ready. Set. Go!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Last year around this time I was broken. I'm still broken now, but last year around this time I was holding back tears and forcing myself to smile. It hadn't even been two months since I had lost my Ian and I was looking for ways to get through the days without losing my mind.

I went jogging one day and I saw that the Upland Lemon Festival had begun. I cut my jogging session short, ran back home, got the boys ready and took them to walk around the festival. It wasn't easy for me. I really just wanted to hide in a dark place and cry. I kept picturing myself walking around with my big boys and my little baby in my arms. I was so angry. I was supposed to have a baby with me. My Ian.

Still, I managed to force myself to pretend I was ok. I didn't want my boys to think I didn't want to be there with them. We were walking around looking for kettle corn, when we came across a stand selling bubble guns. Of course, the boys immediately forgot about the kettle corn and begged for a bubble gun of their very own. There were other little boys running around, filling the air with bubbles of all sizes, so I couldn't say no to them. I bought them their bubble guns and watched them as they joined the other little boys. It made me happy to see them smile. And the hundreds of bubbles floating around made me smile, which wasn't an easy thing to do.

I was standing to the side watching the kids play when a group of teenagers walked by. They were fanning the bubbles away from their faces, trying to make their way through, when one of the boys in the group, maybe about 16 or 17 years old, declared very loudly that is the most annoying toy in the world which, apparently, was quite funny to the rest of the group who laughed and glared back at me as if they had just offended me as a parent and a person. I looked at the teenaged boy as he walked away feeling like a hero for not being ashamed to speak his obnoxious, childish mind out loud. I smiled at him, which clearly took him by surprise. I think he expected me to frown and express my disbelief, but my heart was too exhausted from the all the trauma and the pain, so I just smiled.

It's been nearly a year since that day. I know this because the signs for this year's Lemon Festival are all around town. I can't help but wonder if that young man has matured a little since. I wonder if one year is long enough to learn to be kind and humble. I wonder if he would have acted the same way had he known the pain in my heart. I wonder if he knows that I would have gladly purchased three of the "the most annoying toy in the world" for my Ian to join his brothers at the Lemon Festival Bubble Gun Battle of 2013. He'd be a little over a year old. Just old enough to hold the most annoying toy in the world in his tiny hand and watch the bubbles fill the air. He'd be running and playing and exploring.

I wonder.

To the teenaged boy who thought it was cool to be shamelessly mean,

I hope you are well. I hope life doesn't teach you to be nice the hard way, as life often tends to do. I hope you never lose a child. I hope no one ever walks by you and kicks you when you are down. I hope you enjoy your youth thoroughly, because one day you will grow up and realize the world doesn't revolve around the kid with the loudest mouth. I hope that one day you develop an appreciation for annoying toys and it takes you back to when you used play with them. I hope you learn to be sensitive and kind. I hope you spread goodness. I wish you joy. I wish you love.

To my Ian,

I know you'd be saying mama by now. There isn't a single day that goes by that I don't think of you. I miss you so much. There is no way to describe the pain in my heart. I'm going to wonder about you for the rest of my life. What would your voice have sounded like, what color were your eyes, what would your favorite cereal have been.... People tell me God needed you. I don't know if I believe that, because no one could ever need you more than I do. I see your baby brother do things every day that I wish I could have seen you do. I don't know how I am supposed to go through an entire lifetime with this pain in my heart, but I'm doing it. Right now, your brothers need me here on earth, but one day I will join you in heaven and I will hold you and kiss you and tell you how much I've missed you. Until then, send me bubbles, baby boy. I love you like the ocean loves the shore, tiny angel.

Last year around this time, I was broken. I'm still broken, but now I don't have to force myself to smile. I have three beautiful boys on earth and one waiting for me in heaven. More than enough reasons to smile, I think.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dear Ian

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Ian
Happy birthday to you
This is nothing like I pictured your first birthday, angel. This is nothing like I pictured my life. I can't believe it has been a year since I first held your still, tiny body in my arms. And what a year it has been. A year of tears, pain and many life lessons.
I woke up at exactly five in the morning today. I was feeding your baby brother when I suddenly realized that it was exactly a year ago at around 5 a.m. when I knew something was wrong. I'll never forget that day. The day my worst nightmare became reality.
I clearly remember when the nurse looked me in the eyes and told me you were gone. No! I shouted. I have two babies at home waiting for their little brother. What am I going to tell my babies?! They're waiting for their baby brother. I turned to face the wall and I sobbed like I have never sobbed before.
The contractions were getting worse. I knew you were gone but I was still clinging to hope. Hope that the nurses and doctors were wrong. Hope that they'd take you out and I would hear you cry as you took your first breath. You were so handsome and your skin so warm. You were perfect, but you were gone.
I hope you remember how I held you for hours as I took in every feature of your tiny face. I hope you remember all the things I told you, the tears I cried over you, the lullabies I sang to you- the same lullabies I continue to sing for your brothers. I hope you know how much I have missed you this past year. Sometimes I can still smell the scent of your skin on me. When I close my eyes I always see your face. I remember exactly how perfectly your little body fit into my arms.
I have felt sadness many time during my life, but nothing comes close to what I felt the day I said goodbye to you. I held you close for many hours, I sang to you and I told you over and over and over how much I love you. I couldn't believe I would never hold you again. I watched as the nurse wheeled you away in your little bed and I cried and cried as she put your baby blanket over your face before leaving the room.
I wish you were here. I wish I could have seen you blow out your first birthday candle today. I miss you. My heart aches for you. I am always going to wonder about you. I have some beautiful pictures of you that a wonderful photographer from a wonderful organization took. I haven't seen the pictures since the day I received the CD in the mail. I can't. I'm not ready. I hope you don't think it's because I don't want to. Your sweet face is engraved in my mind and sometimes I can hardly handle that.
One year ago today I lost you, sweet angel and today, one year later, I am sitting here holding your baby brother, wondering if I would have him had I not lost you. I'd give anything to have you with me, but at the same time I can't imagine my life without my Noah-Bear.
Thank you, my sweet Ian.  Thank you because you have made me a better person. Because of you I appreciate your brothers so much more and I try not to take a single minute with them for granted.
Happy birthday in heaven, my little love. I love you so much and I know one day we will be together again.